Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Snow Book

When I was looking for paper for my He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven project I wanted some very nice, light, holey paper to go behind the calligraphy layer. I never did find anything suitable (which is fine, turns out I wouldn't have had room anyway for it), but I did find two lovely pieces that fit the description in white.

I'm not sure if you can see the second one very well. It's semi-transparent mulberry paper with little gold flecks in it.

This got me thinking that I should find a nice snow-related poem or quote to make into a book. It was kind of confusing trying to find something short of in the public domain like that just on Google, but eventually I found the University of Toronto's online library, where they had a list of 19th century Canadian poets. Only it couldn't be searched by subject, only author! I didn't want to go through every single one until I found something, but I underestimated how much we write about winter. Almost every poet listed had one, and I soon had a big stack I liked to choose from. I eventually did a bit of extra research on one of the poets, and found this one:

The Frosted Pane
Charles G. D. Roberts (1860-1943)

One night came Winter noiselessly, and leaned
Against my window-pane.
In the deep stillness of his heart convened
The ghosts of all his slain.

Leaves, and ephemera, and stars of earth,
And fugitives of grass, --
White spirits loosed from bonds of mortal birth,
He drew them on the glass.

I'm going to make a star book, only I'm going to try and ignore the different divisions of the pages, and try something a little different and off-centre.

Here is the calligraphy. It's very faint on purpose, so I'll have to figure out a better way to photograph it. It's just my handwriting. I'm sticking with a bit of a casual feel. Plus I'm feeling just too lazy to practice for hours and do it formally! Which wouldn't be as nice with the poem anyway, I think. Well... we'll stick with that explanation. Once this is dry and ready for the lines to be erased I'm going to make large sections of cut-outs in snow/frost type patterns. I can't make them quite as big as I was planning because the writing took up more room, so they may end up kind of meandering all over instead of being in nice rectangular (window-like) areas. But that will be fine, I think. If anyone asks I had it all planned out from the start.

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